December 2019 Alexandria Events
Alexandria Events Dec 2019
6TH & 7TH
49th Annual Campagna Center Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend & Parade
Parade is December 7th at 11 a.m.
Admission: Free for parade and Heather and Greens Sales; $180-$290 for Taste of Scotland; $40 for Holiday Home Tours
Throughout Old Town
Don’t miss Old Town Alexandria’s most spectacular holiday weekend. In 1749, the City of Alexandria was officially established by three Scottish merchants and named after its original founder, John Alexander, also of Scottish descent. Today, the city continues celebrating its heritage with a weekend of festivities. At the Campagna Center’s iconic Scottish Christmas Walk Parade, dozens of Scottish clans dressed in colorful tartans parade through the streets of Old Town, joined by pipe and drum bands from around the region, as well as terriers and hounds. The parade, which takes place rain or shine, begins at St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets and concludes at Market Square with a massed band concert. campagnacenter.org/scottishwalkweekend
20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
Parade begins at 5:30 p.m.; Dockside festivities 2 to 8 p.m.
Waterfront Park (1 King St.)
Old Town Alexandria’s historic waterfront will shine for the 20th Anniversary Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights at 5:30 p.m. as dozens of brightly lit boats cruise along one mile of the Potomac River shoreline. Enjoy dockside festivities from 2 to 8 p.m. in Waterfront Park including holiday music and giveaways from 97.1 WASH-FM. Take part in hands-on activities during the afternoon sponsored by local businesses. At 3:30 p.m., Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive by fireboat at the Alexandria City Marina to take photos with children and families at the annual Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival. Parade viewing areas: Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.), Shipyard/Harborside Park (1 Wilkes St.), Windmill Hill Park (501 S. Union St.) and Ford’s Landing Park (99 Franklin St.). Full details at visitalexandriava.com/boatparade
Alexandria’s Waterfront: Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Founders Park (351 N. Union St.) and Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.)
Now in its 34th year, this favorite D.C.-area Christmas Eve event returns to Old Town Alexandria. Gather along historic Alexandria’s Potomac River waterfront for a spectacular show by Waterskiing Santa and his merry crew. The prime viewing area is Waterfront Park (1 King St. and 1A Prince St.), with more great views from the Alexandria City Marina (0 Cameron St.), Founders Park (351 N. Union St.), and Point Lumley Park (1 Duke St.). Come early to see the pre-show (on jet skis). waterskiingsanta.com
25th Anniversary First Night Alexandria
6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
Admission Varies per event
Grab your ‘besties and the rest’ and plan to meet up in Old Town Alexandria for the 25th Anniversary Celebration of First Night Alexandria. This annual live music and performing arts festival is the largest New Year’s Eve party in the D.C. region that is safe and fun for the entire family and culminates with a fantastic fireworks finale over the Potomac River at midnight. Take your pick from country to Caribbean, rock to reggae, jazz to swing, folk to acapella, or comedy to magic as you enjoy a concert or dance the night away. Thanks to our community partners, you can experience outstanding performing artists in cozy boutiques, art galleries, offices, ballrooms and historic sites from the Rail to the River. Age-appropriate activities await our youngest party animals at the four Kids Karnivals happening from 6 to 9 p.m., complete with their own creative countdown. Starting at 10 p.m., head to the waterfront with your All Access Badge for the ‘Rockin’ on the River’ dance party in the park, featuring DJ Ray Casiano and fireworks at midnight sponsored by MGM National Harbor, along with food trucks and prizes. For full details log on to firstnightalexandria.org
Nov 29th – 31st
Christmas at Mount Vernon
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Admission: $20 for adults; $12 for youth (ages 6-11); free for children age 5 and below; extra cost for some activities
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Highway
Holiday programs and tours fill each day with delight at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Visitors of all ages can tour the Mansion, watch 18th-century demonstrations and hear stories of Christmases past from costumed characters. Meet Aladdin the camel and commemorate your holiday visit with a photo at the selfie station as you start a new tradition of visiting Mount Vernon during the Christmas season. mountvernon.org/christmas
Nov 30th, Dec 14th, Dec 21st
Photos with Santa in Old Town Alexandria
12 to 3 p.m.
Admission: Advance reservation required
Hooray for Books!
1555 King Street
The region’s most beloved Santa and Mrs. Claus return to Old Town Alexandria to take keepsake photos with children on three Saturdays during the holiday season. Santa and Mrs. Claus will welcome families on Small Business Saturday, November 30, 2019, and on December 14 and 21, 2019. Advance reservation is required. To reserve a time block for your child to meet with Santa, call or visit Hooray for Books! to make any size donation to the bookstore’s special Santa account, which will be used to provide books, toys and games for the Alexandria Domestic Violence Program’s Holiday Party. Steven Halperson from local studio Tisara Photography has been invited to take pictures for you at these events. Photos with Santa in Old Town Alexandria is presented by the King Street Corridor Initiative and Hooray for Books! hooray4books.com
Museum Store Sunday in Historic Alexandria
Hours vary by site
Old Town Alexandria
Give the gift of history to your friends and family on Museum Store Sunday. Shop at Alexandria’s premier museums and enjoy special giveaways and discounts. From books to historic reproductions, wine to local keepsakes, the perfect gift can be found in historic Alexandria. Participating museum stores include the Alexandria Archaeology Museum, the Alexandria Black History Museum, The Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum, Carlyle House Historic Park, Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Friendship Firehouse Museum, Fort Ward Museum & Historic Site, Lee-Fendall House and Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum. visitalexandria.com/museumstoresunday
1st, 2nd – 6th
Alexandria’s Holiday Market at Carlyle
Dec 1st – 6 to 8 p.m. and 2nd-6th 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
John Carlyle Square Park
300 John Carlyle Street
Alexandria’s Holiday Market is an annual signature event that transforms John Carlyle Square into a lively open-air festival, perfect for children young and old. On December 1, Santa and Mrs. Clause and the town crier will ring in the season with a live appearance. The holiday market and festivities are sponsored by The Carlyle Vitality Initiative. thecarlylecommunity.com
6th-8th, 13th-15th, 20th-22nd
Del Ray Artisans’ 24th Annual Fine Art & Fine Craft Holiday Market
Fri, 6 to 9 p.m., Sat and Sun, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
2704 Mount Vernon Avenue
Del Ray Artisans annual Holiday Market offers unique handmade fine arts and crafts from local artists. Choose from wall art, pottery, photography, jewelry, glass and much more from different artisans each weekend. Plus, purchase 2020 wall calendars, cookbooks and upcycled tote bags to support Del Ray Artisans. delrayartisans.org
Soldier’s Christmas at Carlyle House
12 to 4 p.m.
121 N. Fairfax Street
Visit Old Town on Saturday, December 7, 2019, to enjoy Alexandria’s rich Scottish heritage and see the Scottish Walk Parade march past Alexandria’s oldest stone building, Carlyle House. After the parade, enter the museum gates and step back in time for a free open house in the spirit of the holiday season. novaparks.com
Torpedo Factory Art Center Holiday Festival
2 to 8 p.m.
Torpedo Factory Art Center
105 N. Union Street
The Art Center joins in the fun on Alexandria’s most festive holiday weekend of the year. Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive at 3:30 p.m. Music and singing fill the halls all evening. After sundown, the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights passes by The Art Center’s doors. Visit artists on all three floors to find the perfect gift of art. torpedofactory.org
Holidays on the Avenue in Del Ray
Pat Miller Neighborhood Square
Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue
Kick off the holidays with a visit to Del Ray for the annual holiday tree and menorah lighting, featuring a special appearance by Santa Claus, who will lead carols and sit for photos with children. Continue the celebration and start your holiday shopping with a stroll down Mount Vernon Avenue, which will be illuminated by thousands of luminarias and feature storefront windows hand-painted for the holidays. Pick your favorite in the neighborhood business association’s annual Christmas tree decorating contest. visitdelray.com
Alexandria Harmonizers Carol Crawl
7 to 9 p.m.
Beginning at Market Square
Come hear the Harmonizers’ annual Carol Crawl through Old Town Alexandria, as they stop to sing Christmas carols in various establishments along King Street, from Market Square to the waterfront, and end up at Chadwicks. harmonizers.org
Alexandria Black History Museum’s How to Celebrate Kwanzaa Workshop
11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Alexandria Black History Museum
902 Wythe Street
Join the Alexandria Black History Museum’s annual Kwanzaa workshop, suitable for adults and children. It will focus on the history, principles, symbols and activities relating to Kwanzaa. Get ideas to plan your own celebration. alexandriava.gov/blackhistory
Del Ray Holiday Pop-Up Market
1 to 4:30 p.m.
Pat Miller Neighborhood Square
Mount Vernon Avenue and E. Oxford Avenue
Find the perfect gift at this pop-up market featuring local artisans and at-home entrepreneurs. Then, stroll along Mount Vernon Avenue and see shops sporting festive seasonal murals. visitdelray.com
Colonial Handbell Ringers Concert
2 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Alexandria History Museum at The Lyceum
201 South Washington Street
The Colonial English Handbell Ringers perform clad in colonial attire, bringing a 5-octave set of nearly 80 handbells from the world-famous Whitechapel foundry in London. The ringers will perform children’s classics, timeless holiday tunes, and original show-stoppers. Audience participation in the sing-along is encouraged. No reservations will be accepted in advance, and seating capacity is limited. colonialringers.com
ABOUT ALEXANDRIA, VA
Experience holiday magic on historic streets in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, located just minutes from Washington, D.C. Recognized by Oprah Magazine as one of the Most Charming Christmas Towns Across the World in 2019 and by Southern Living as the Perfect Southern Town for a Hallmark Christmas Movie in 2019, visitors feel transported by an old fashioned sense of holiday wonder on Old Town Alexandria’s centuries-old brick-lined streets, twinkling with holiday traditions and magical events. Bask in the warmth of time-honored festivities like the Campagna Center’s 49th Annual Scottish Christmas Walk Weekend, featuring a parade of Scottish clans and Scottie dogs, as well as the 20th Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lights on the Potomac River. Dozens of independent boutiques welcome you with greenery at their doorsteps, offering everything from chic fashions and home décor to classic toys and gifts for dogs. Duck into cozy cafés and chef-driven restaurants tucked into 18th-century buildings to warm up with loved ones and good cheer. Under a canopy of sparkling lights, a stroll on historic King Street is like being in a real-life Dickens Village, complete with European flair. Recognized as a Top 3 Best Small City in the U.S. 2019 by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards, Alexandria offers an authentic holiday experience—the way it was meant to be. To learn more about Alexandria at the holidays, visit VisitAlexandriaVA.com/Holidays.